With just two weeks’ notice, British Airways is severely reducing its presence at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, moving two-thirds of its “T3” routes to its main location, Terminal 5.
Beginning July 12, all long-haul flights currently operating out of T3 – to destinations such as Barbados, Buenos Aires, Las Vegas and Orlando – will return to T5. Many short-haul flights, especially to Central Europe and the former Yugoslavia, will also be relocated.
News of the change was shared by frequent flyer site Head for Points. Editor Rob Burgess said: “Something is a bit odd here. Changes are happening quickly – passengers are only notified 14 days in advance in some cases.”
Normally, terminal changes are made at the “seasonal boundaries” at the end of October and the end of March. The short notice may result in some passengers with existing bookings accidentally appearing at Terminal 3.
Mr Burgess said: “It also makes little sense when it comes to managing queues and lounge capacity in Terminal 5.”
A British Airways spokesman said: “As part of a planned move of the Heathrow terminal with our airline partners, all of our long-haul flights and more than half of our short-haul flights currently departing from Terminal 3 will be relocated to Terminal 5 from 12 July.
“We are proactive in informing our customers and encouraging them to check their booking on ba.com before travelling.”
BA has made around 15,000 scheduled flight cancellations so far this summer and it appears the airline can fit almost all of its Heathrow operations into a single terminal.
Its partners Iberia and American Airlines currently have a strong presence in Terminal 5. But the Flyertalk forum reports, “Effective July 1, 2022, American Airlines will consolidate all AA LHR operations into Terminal 3.”
The Independent seeks comment from American Airlines.
Connections from Terminal 3 have traditionally been those with the lowest proportion of connecting traffic to other BA routes. An airside bus connection or landside rail connection is required for passengers transferring to and from Terminal 5.
The news came as the Civil Aviation Authority said it wanted Heathrow passenger charges to fall every year until 2026.
Long haul flights from T3 to T5
- Buenos Aires*
- Las Vegas
- Sao Paulo*
(* Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo are currently operated as a single service)
Short-haul flights moving from T3 to T5
Short-haul flights with a stopover in T3